Doctor Who, “Extremis”

There were two storylines in last week’s episode of Doctor Who: the present and the past. Both had their intriguing points and their faults.

Spoilers after the hopefully non-spoilery photo below.

First, the past. We finally have our theories confirmed as to who in in the vault. Or do we? Yes. Missy is placed in the vault. Missy would play “Pop! Goes the Weasel”. But we know that John Simm will be back as the Master. I still think he’s going to be in there as well, somehow. Naturally he didn’t kill her. I was relieved to see that. I was in a bit of disbelief before then.

My favorite part was the fact that he mentioned “The Prydonian Chapter”!!! Another of the increasing references to the 20th century episodes. Something that would fly over the heads of newer fans, but perfect for older fans and newer fans who do their research. 😀

But the detail that popped out at me the second time I watched it, and won’t let me go, was his coat. At first I was like, “Oh, another coat”. But the second time, after Nardole showed up with his permission to kick arse, I recognized the coat. It’s not new. It’s the opposite. It’s very, very old. Probably at least 24 years old. Probably been worn for 24 years. Yet another reference back to Darillium. Yet another tug at my heart. The profound impact it is having on Twelve is just touching.

Honestly, I was a little disappointed in the main plotline. First, why isn’t the TARDIS translating what the Pope is saying? Second, really? Another Italian Pope? There hasn’t been an Italian Pope in my lifetime. Why is the Pope always Italian in popular culture?! Grrrrr. Really, it didn’t get good until the very end when the Doctor figures out what is going on. After Nardole disappears, I thought maybe the Doctor and Bill somehow landed in a simulation. But Bill disappearing nixed that thought quickly. Even the number thing didn’t discourage that.

Then I was disappointed as the Doctor started to figure things out, seeing the “deus ex machina” on the wall. The further he went, the more hopeful and excited I got. The climax of the entire episode made me want to go back and rewatch the entire thing. The first clue is right in front of us the entire time. When the Doctor opens the e-mail and things are a little glitch-y when the title sequence begins. Brilliant!

Unfortunately, this season is not coming close to the consistent awesomeness of last season. I love Bill. I’m waiting for this season to get better. But I’m worried that it isn’t and Bill isn’t going to get the chance to really shine.

Oh, and the Doctor being blind? Really? We’re going to keep this going? It had better not be the deal for the rest of the season. Or at least let Bill know what’s going on.

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